In business, staying ahead of current trends isn’t just an advantage – it’s a necessity. According to Harris Research, 53 percent of customers would prefer to use online chat before calling a company for support. If you’re relying on your customers to call or email your sales team, then you may be missing out on potential contacts thanks to changing customer expectations. Customers have always valued convenience, and now more than ever, customers expect immediate responses from businesses. Econsultancy found that 79 percent of users who prefer live chat said they did so because they get their questions answered quickly, 51 percent did so because they could multi-task, and 46 percent agreed it was the most efficient communication method.
These communication preferences are reflected in the popularity of smartphones, SMS, and social media messaging. Together, these modern platforms have changed the way that customers communicate from a primarily long-form style to a short message style.
Live chat allows visitors to use a communication technique that they are familiar and comfortable with rather than forcing them to use longer text or even verbal communication. If you’re not offering a live chat option to your visitors you may not be meeting their desire for short-form, real-time communications.
How can you make this happen?
There are two keys to gaining a competitive advantage with live chat. The first is to use proactive live chat so that you’re not waiting for visitors to reach out to you before trying to close a sale. The second is to ensure that your live chat agents are both trained and incentivized to close sales during chat transactions. By ensuring that your agents are knowledgeable and empowered to effectively close sales, you limit the possibility of your consumer or user returning to a competitor’s website.
To get a leg-up on the competition with live chat, don’t forget that wait time is everything. Just as a customer may abandon a competitor while waiting for a phone or email contact, a customer may abandon you if you make them wait too long on a chat. Use live chat reporting tools to easily manage your staffing and availability, so that you don’t accidentally drive users away.
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